(Photo by Brady Dale)
NY Tech Day took place Thursday at Pier 92 in Manhattan (pro-tip, the entrance is at 52nd Street — this information is not easy to come by), The event concept is pretty simple. Get a giant space and let hundreds of startups set up to demo and talk about what they’ve made.
We went looking for Brooklyn firms. We found a few old favorites and some new ones we hadn’t come across before.
EnergyHub took the prize at the event. Literally. The Attorney General presented them with the trophy seen above for “Best Green Startup.” We wrote about the energy management company here. Andrew Martin, VP of Product & Marketing, told us that their main motivation for turning up was the search for software engineers. The company makes the software runs just about everyone’s wireless thermostats.
Tom Grundy, the new web designer at Solidoodle, told us that they had come because they had been at the event year after year. “We fit the bill,” he said, as a New York company making a tech product. He said the team also had a group demo’ing at a conference in D.C. at the same time.
Solidoodle is based in Carroll Gardens. They recently launched a 3D printing design sharing site.
We learned about Lettrs for the first time at NY Tech Day. Lettrs is working to give people a new way to share meaningful written communication. The cofounder, Drew Barkiewicz, argued that email just doesn’t work for meaningful written messages anymore. People just use it for business. It’s impersonal. Lettrs is bringing a design element to text to make it special.
The team doesn’t really have a home yet, but it’s looking. All of its designers are Brooklynites and are hoping for a site in the borough. The team has completed a strong seed round of funding and will be looking to raise another soon. It’s only on iOS so far, but look for their Android release in June.
We also met Heather Wolf of JuggleFit for the first time. She’s a one woman startup, operating out of Cobble Hill. Most of her work is not exactly tech. She has made a multi-stream business out of teaching people how to juggle. Juggle to de-stress. Juggle to stay active. She also argues that her sessions are great for startups because juggling is a great way to take your mind off a problem in just that way that may allow your subconscious to solve it.
Memo to every BK startup: bring Wolf in for a workshop and let us know. We would definitely cover that.
She does have a tech component, though. She has developed two iOS apps. One helps you manage your diet and the other helps you track your improvement as a juggler.
Wrevel and Rentah
Two startups we met that are both sharing space in Greenpoint and were also sharing table space at NY Tech Day were Wrevel and Rentah. We don’t have photos for you. It was really packed around their table.
Wrevel is an upstart challenger to sites like Eventbrite. They want to make buying tickets to events more social. Rentah is a sort all purpose, updated Craigslist and Ebay. In fact, one of their staff combined so many well known ventures in describing it that we kind of lost track. But, in theory, you could either rent someone’s fancy Yamaha keyboard or their guest house or their skills as a plumber. It’s all possible.
One thing we dug about Wrevel — apparently they have signed up a lot of Greenpoint venues to use their service for shows and parties.
IFP Made In NY Media Center
We ran into the landlords of the coworking space we use in Dumbo, on John St, the IFP Made In NY Media Center. Nekisa Cooper. She said the team was debuting a new tagline at the event, “Your success is our mission.” We have written about a lot of their events, but here’s one we did from one of their early parties.
If you missed NY Tech Day or you just haven’t had enough demos in your life, you might want to swing by their Demo Day on May 7th.
Toymail had a special 20 percent off deal for NY Tech Day attendees for its toys that let adults communicate with children via voice messages. If you weren’t there, though, sorry, you missed out. You can still get a message delivery box for the little one in your life, though, here.
A few other bits of news we picked up at the event:
- Dash, the app that lets you pay for dinner without a waiter, has decamped from Dumbo for the Financial District so their sales team can get to Manhattan restaurants more quickly. We wrote about their funding round.
- SciptEd‘s Maurya Couvares has added the Academy of Innovative Technology to its Brooklyn list. We’ll get more info on that soon. We wrote about their first Brooklyn school here.
- Neverware, the company that makes schools rundown old computers work better, is not in Brooklyn, but its product is in lots of Brooklyn schools, apparently. We’ll get more on this soon.